Rebels dominate late but fall to Hurricanes in preseason play
Hurricanes 4 Rebels 3
LETHBRIDGE — Little by little, shift by shift.
The Red Deer Rebels followed that blueprint of patience in the third period of Friday’s WHL preseason contest versus the Lethbridge Hurricanes, but ultimately came out on the short end of a 4-3 score before 596 fans at the Enmax Centre.
After a relatively even first 40 minutes, the Rebels dominated play in the final period but had to settle for a single power play goal off the stick of Carter Anderson (pictured above) and fell just short in their quest for a third preseason win.
“Our guys got going with what we’re trying to do in the third and stuck with it,” said Rebels head coach Steve Konowalchuk.
“You’re down two goals, you could easily try to do too much and in the end hurt yourself more. But our guys stuck with it and were able to generate some momentum.”
Anderson’s goal, his second of the preseason, was a result of some hard-nosed corner work by himself and Kalan Lind, who pulled the puck out of a scrum and back to Jace Weir at the point. Weir fed it down to Anderson in front of the net and the 17-year-old beat goaltender Jared Picklyk from in tight.
The first period ended in a 2-2 draw with Hurricanes veteran Justin Hall and newcomer Peter Repcik sandwiching goals around a pair of Red Deer markers courtesy of Kai Uchacz and 16-year-old Arjun Bawa.
“We were good the first couple of shifts in the first, then we kind of got away from how we want to execute,” said Konowalchuk. “There were some individual breakdowns, whether it was unfortunate or it was a case of not being prepared or a combination of both, that led to the loss of some of our early momentum.”
After outshooting the Hurricanes 12-8 in the opening frame, the Rebels were outshot 11-6 in the second and surrendered a pair of goals, with Alex Thacker connecting on a breakaway and Hall sniping from the low slot.
Red Deer held a wide 14-3 advantage in shots in the third but couldn’t pull even.
Picklyk stopped 16 of the 17 shots he faced while splitting time with ‘Canes starting netminder Harrison Meneghin, who gave up two goals on 15 shots.
Chase Coward made 18 saves in the Red Deer net.
The Rebels, 2-2 in exhibition play, won the special teams battle, scoring on their lone power play while going three-for-three on the penalty kill.
The game marked the Rebels 2021 preseason debut of newcomer forward Blake Stevenson and Finnish defenceman Christoffer Sedoff, each of whom had a game-high four shots on goals, as did Uchacz.
The Rebels host the Hurricanes in the final preseason game for both teams Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Peavey Mart Centrium.